Jeff Barnard, Associated Press
In this Dec. 22, 2009 photo, a lonely cow stands on a remote piece of the Roaring Springs Ranch near Frenchglen, Ore.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University says a technology for extracting drinkable water from manure is on its way to commercial application this year.

The East Lansing school says it's particularly useful for animal operations in dry regions where water is at a premium.

The McLanahan Nutrient Separation System is an add-on to an anaerobic digester, which extracts energy and chemicals from manure.

The system adds ultrafiltration, air stripping and a reverse osmosis system to produce water that's clean enough for cattle to drink.

Project participant Steve Safferman says a 1,000-cow operation annually produces about 10 million gallons of manure, which is 90 percent water.

The system now extracts about 50 gallons of water from each 100 gallons of manure, and developers say they're aiming at 65 gallons.